What Agents and Publishers Really Want

What Agents and Publishers Really Want

What Do Agents and Publishers Really Want? In my career as an author I’ve faced every challenge you’re facing. Having had ten novels published, with sales of over half a million books, I know what agents and publishers are looking for, what they want—and...
Don’t Believe These Myths About Writing

Don’t Believe These Myths About Writing

MYTH-BUSTERS Myths can distort and darken a writer’s world. I want your creative world to be sunshine-bright. So I offer here some myth-busting to chase away the clouds. Myth #1. It’s Impossible To Get Published These Days This myth says the publishing industry...
Anatomy of a Page-Turner

Anatomy of a Page-Turner

“I couldn’t put it down!” Authors love to hear readers say those words. So do our publishers. But what, exactly, is this mysterious literary essence that hooks a reader? What holds them so hard, they simply must keep reading, often long into the...
The Thrill of the First Sentence

The Thrill of the First Sentence

How To Write a Winning “Hook” Do you slave over your story’s opening sentence? Good! That’s what successful writers do: write it, revise it, and tweak it until they’re sure it will fire the reader’s desire to know what comes next. A first sentence...
Writing As an Extreme Sport

Writing As an Extreme Sport

Writing? An extreme sport? Hell, yes. We rappel up rock-faces of chapters. We raft through rapids of plot. We hang-glide on unstable character arcs, and bobsled down ice alleys of dialogue, then run a marathon of revision. Sometimes, like the fellow in the Stephen...
What You Have in Common with this Bestselling Author

What You Have in Common with this Bestselling Author

  I’m a big fan of bestselling author John le Carré, so I’ve often applied admiring adjectives to his novels. But I came across an unfamiliar adjective in a review of his latest book. The critic wrote: “Le Carré’s prose remains brisk and lapidary.” Lapidary? What did...